AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Amherst resident Barbara Makuch knows all too well how the Russian government thinks — after all, she was once a double agent. She worked as a spy in the 1980s when Vladimir Putin was working for the KGB.

“Twenty-some odd years working against the KGB, but they thought I was working for them,” Makuch said.

The former double agent worked for the United States alongside her late husband Eugene. Her spy days are long behind her, but she says she never had a good feeling about Russian President Putin, even back then.

“He’s like all the other thug KGB agents I knew when I worked in New York, DC, Moscow, but he’s by far the evilest and he’s very smart,” she said.

She added that she believes the attack on Ukraine was in the works for a long time.

“He did not plan this in a week or two, or five. It took longer. Why did they not stop him before?” she asked. “My god, we gave them the weaponry. We gave it to them. We gave them the technology, we sell them military stuff. Come on, what are we doing? He needs to be cut off at the knees.”

Makuch wants to see the U.S. step up more to prevent Russia from taking over Ukraine. She said if Russia succeeds, she’s worried more countries will be next.

“His endgame is he wants the old USSR back. He is going to terrorize these people until he subjugates them,” she said. “He’s got this thing going on about, ‘It’s Russia, all of it is Russia, all part of one people.’ No it’s not. Ukraine is a separate country — an independent country.”

“It’s horrendous. He pretty much is saying, ‘Don’t mess with me or I start World War III,'” she said.

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Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.